Friday, 15 July 2011

The impossible task.

The task is exporting our 2008 Prado from the UAE to Qatar, the distance of 1,000kms. Not so hard you'd think (well if you don't live around these parts you probably would think that....) and as the vehicle is less than 5 years old it is within the allowable age for import into Qatar. The Prado has stayed in Dubai as Colin used it for work until the day he finished and I've used it since then for all the running round you have to do to prepare to move countries.
First stop in the process was the RTA website and the Dubai Police website then a visit to the big RTA headquarters building in Garhoud by the petrol station.  My passport was taken and held hostage while I found the man who could apparently tell me how to export the Prado from Dubai to Doha.  He couldn't help me and told me to go the the RTA 'Customer Service' centre in Marakesh Street not far from the RTA building, so off I went.  You'll notice that I'm using quotation marks around the words 'customer' and 'service' for a reason.  I went there, found there was only on street parking for customers and all the spaces were taken so I drove up the out lane into the staff parking and parked in one of the empty spaces.  I figured that as it was 2pm there was little chance of the staff member coming back and wanting their car space.  I went inside and took a number from the receptionist to join the queue to be served.  After 35 minutes they had served two people so, as there were 13 numbers ahead of me, a quick calculation said that it would be at least 4-5 hours before I was called. So I made a considered decision – I gave up.  As one of the papers that has to be produced is a confirmation of import tax payment, I went to the Toyota dealer to collect a letter that was waiting for me confirming that tax had been paid on the vehicle on entry to the UAE by the importing agent.  Unfortunately the letter had been lost (sigh) and I had to go away again while they prepared another one. 
Next day I was back at the RTA, first in the queue when the office opened at 7:30am to start the process of getting blue export plates.  I had all the paperwork that the website listed but sure enough they give you an application form which you can't access online and on the back it lists more required documents. I explained that as my husband now works in Qatar I'd be doing everything on his behalf, no problem, the lady was very helpful and listed the papers I'd need to produce to get the blue export plates.  Once the Prado has the blue plates we have 3 days to leave Dubai.  Anyway, one of the papers I need to produce is a new Dubai warrant of fitness. So I took the car to the WOF place, the car passed the test, but after nearly an hour of waiting the lady there told me that the warrant of fitness would not be issued. She said that Dubai car registration and immigration records are now linked and because the car is registered in Colin's name and he no longer has a valid UAE visa therefore no warrant of fitness will be given.  When I queried this and explained that a certificate is required to export the car she just shrugged her shoulders, turned her back and started to deal with the next customer.  I gathered up my papers and left, totally dejected and just a bit angry.  Its a circular story: the UAE visa must be cancelled before Qatar will issue an RP (as a foreigner you can't have visas in two GCC countries) and a foreigner has to have an Qatar RP to import a car into Doha but a foreigner can't export a car without a UAE visa.  Do you apply for, and hopefully receive, a Saudi transit visa, then drive the car to Saudi, park it somewhere, go back to Dubai, cancel your UAE visa, go to Doha, get your Qatar RP (bearing in mind that it took nearly 3 months for Colin to get his), then once you have your Qatar RP apply for another Saudi transit visa fly to the place in Saudi where you left your car, then drive it across the border to Qatar? Nah, sounds too simple.
So this indicates that we cannot sell the car in Dubai ourselves or even transfer ownership to a friend with a UAE visa in order to sell it rather than export. I needed to drive Madame to work right up to my last day (though I realised later that my employer had actually cancelled my visa the day before). Does this mean that as soon as you are made redundant/decide to leave Dubai you must sell your car and then pay for a hire car before your employer cancels your visa?
This is doing my head in.
(Image: Design Pics Images)

1 comment:

  1. Great place to

    - do business
    - set up for ownership
    - have trust in what the government provides for you

    or maybe just

    - GTFO

    before you get settled...

    Anyway, great way to attract new people to the place!